2011 – Spring ’20 Class Letter
Shane Roeber ‘11
262.617.7707 / [email protected]
Dear Class of 2011:
I bet some of you are surprised to see my name associated with this class letter. Indeed, some of you even asked me how I ended up becoming the Class Agent. Well, your guess is as good as mine. But here I am so you’re all stuck with me for the time being. I’ll try to bring some humor (disclaimer: I’m not funny) and reflection to our class letters. No promises though.
This year is probably the first year I’ve felt like an “adult.” Certainly, part of the delay of feeling like an adult is that I’ve been living the bachelor life in Milwaukee for a while now. But a lot of other adult things have happened this year. Some people welcomed new additions to their families and some people said goodbye to loved ones. Some people got promotions, started their own business, or started a new career. And some people lost jobs and have been trying to find their way since. The point is that life, from what I’ve been told, is supposed to have ups and downs. This year has certainly shown me evidence of that statement’s truthfulness.
Alumni Weekend this year is June 25-28th and I hope to see a lot of you there. It’s a fun way to reconnect with old friends and drink a few (or a lot) of cheap beer just like we did in college except this time it’s free. Further, remember that Ripon depends on its alumni for financial support. No amount is too small and if I can donate after how many times Ripon fined me I hope you can too.
Finally, what follows is our class updates. Thank you to everyone who provided one – it was a pleasure reading about your accomplishments. Beating Final Fantasy VII or getting a Ph.D. in Sasquatch Studies are not easy tasks. As someone who is terrible at reaching out to friends and colleagues, getting the class updates was probably my favorite part of this whole thing.
Nicholas Osenberg ’11 – completed his Masters in Theatre Studies: Production and Design from Southern Oregon University in July. Additionally, his senior theatre students competed for theatre scholarships at the Michigan Thespian Festival. Collectively, the students were awarded $1.9 million in combined scholarship offers. The scholarship awards totaled $25 million in combined offers. This makes it the largest single-day scholarship event for the arts in America. Lastly, one of his lighting design students was honored as one of the Top 10 theatre artists of Michigan. I’d like to thank Ripon’s liberal arts background because my student’s accolades made this possible.
Patricia Takawira ’11 – she is still best friends with childhood friend Mary.
Taima Kern ’11 – she is directing her first community theater show after several runs as assistant director. The show is the Wizard of Oz. She also participated in breaking the world record for most people dressed as penguins – she was one of the 373 people.
Alexandria Fladhammer ’11 – she finished up her Ph.D., bought a house and is planning a wedding. She also traveled to the asteroid belt last August with her cat, Supernova.
Carlos Soto ’11 – he finally completed Final Fantasy VIII.
Darin Fazzino ’11 – he spent a portion of the last year traveling the waters off the coast of Somalia interning as the poop-deck swabber on the pirate ship “Not-A-Pirate-Ship.”
Amanda Hassen ’11 – she is living her best cat lady life, just bought a condo and got a promotion. She recently bought property in France in the hopes of opening up a bed-and-breakfast that solely serves crepes.
Zach Smith ’11 – he spent 214 consecutive days meditating on the purpose of throw pillows. Like, why are throw pillows a thing? They’re not even comfortable and add very little to the decorative ambiance of a room. He was unsuccessful at coming up with an answer.
Patrick Shunk ’11 – he bought a 4-pack of boxer briefs from Target only to find out that someone had taken one of the four pairs. He now owns three pairs of boxer briefs and is quite upset about it.
Callen Marx ’11 – got his Ph.D. in Sasquatch Studies from the University of Oregon. He is ranked in the top 7 Sasquatch hunters in the world but has yet to find the majestic, though elusive, creature.
Melissa del Ponte ’11 – finished her Ph.D. and her and husband Matt bought a house. She works for the department of corrections and Matt works for UW-M Washington County.
Liz Shadle ’11 – she went on an African Safari and met the famed lion Aslan. They became great friends and shared many stories around the campfire. After a rather rambunctious night of s’more making, Aslan got indigestion and had to take a leave of absence for the remainder of the safari. She also got engaged and is working in private practice as a therapist.
Sarah Marie Verstegen ’11 – she is currently the Associate Principal for the Princeton School District. Her son Levi turned one in September and she and her husband, Connor, just welcomed Landon Douglas on January 18, 2020.
Holly DeVore ’11 – she is graduating with her Bachelor’s for Nursing in December 2020, and is working on the Transplant Unit and the Surgical ICU at Froedtert Memorial Hospital as a CNA/Critical Care Technician.
Carissa Lee Erickson ’11 – her and Grant Erickson, ’09, have two sons Samuel (3) and James (2) and are expecting their third son in March.
Christopher Kochanksi ’11 – he is a Lieutenant in the Navy and just wrapped up a tour aboard the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), homeported in Everett, WA, where he served as the Information Warfare Officer for the past two years. He will be transferring to his next command, Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group, in Washington D.C. in April 2020.
Jordan O’Brien ’11 – she approves Patricia Takawira’s (’11) message.
Erin Bavery ’11 – she and Matthew Theis ’11 welcomed a son, Arthur, in December and a second doggo in February 2019.
Sara Sisco ’11 – she bought a new home in Seattle, WA, along with her husband Mike, whom she married in 2020. She also obtained her Masters of Nonprofit Leadership and works with a local nonprofit. Together her and Mike have a dog named Dexter.
Kelly Biallas Miksche ’11 – she married her husband Mike Miksche in August 2019. She also recently started a new position at the DuPage County Health Department as a Public Health Nurse.
Ashley Retzlaff ’11 – she got engaged and is currently directing her first musical, Fiddler on the Roof, at Oak Creek High School in Wisconsin. She is also teaching AP Language and Composition, American Literature, and Theatre Arts at the high school level. Basically still living the “can’t get enough of school” life.
Jordan Hill ’11 – he and Sarah Weinberg (’12) moved home to Minnesota from South Korea in March. They’ll be married in October 2020. He is excited to get back into the college classroom and never teach another elementary-schooler again.
Jolinn Ennis ’11 – her and her husband, Dan, recently welcomed their son James in September. Jolinn is currently teaching elementary music in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and coaching the Fond du Lac Cardinal Skippers jump rope team.
Catie Pfeifer ’11 – she lives in Madison with her husband Jacob whom she married in 2018. She currently works at PBS Wisconsin as a closed captionist.
Robyn Zajac-Elsbecker ’11 – her and Chase (’11) welcomed their daughter, Alice, in January 2020. They live in Pulaski, Wisconsin.
John Lightfield ’11 – he worked as an elder rights attorney in Wausau, Wisconsin and held a koala. He’s currently regulating health care professionals for the state of Wisconsin.